general meeting under the sign of training
Meeting at the National School Clerks in Dijon (F), 80 colleagues from member organizations of the EUR gathered for the annual EUR general meeting (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, and Tunisia).
The event began on 3 September 2015 with a symposium organized jointly by the National School of Clerks and the EUR on the theme of “Training clerks / Rechtspfleger, an opportunity to improve the efficiency of courts in Europe”. It was opened by Mr Jean-François BEYNEL, director of judicial services of the French Ministry of Justice, Mr Michaël JANAS, director of the National School of Clerks and Jean-Jacques Kuster, president of the EUR. They stressed the fundamental role of training for the exercise of the Clerks professions, guaranteeing quality operation of the courts. The functions and training systems of Rechstpfleger in Germany and Austria, of Spanish secretarios judiciales and of French clerks and chief clerks were presented to participants by colleagues LAEMMER W. (Germany), Walter SZOEKY (Austria), Alberto Tomas San Jose CORS (Spain) and Juliane LOCCHUS (France). Workshops allowed participants to discuss issues related to training. The quality of training given in some countries but also the lack of training in other countries was identified. Mr Heiko Wagner of the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission spoke on the European Law training project, particularly on its part concerning court staff. European law is increasingly present in the daily lives of courts and knowledge of this topic is essential not only for judges and lawyers, but also for court staff. The conference was closed by Mr Georg STAWA, President of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) which highlighted the crucial role of clerks / Rechtspfleger who contribute daily to the proper treatment of procedures and provide a quality link with the litigant.
The second day (4 September 2015) was devoted to the activity reports of the Bureau and member organizations including tracing the work of the EUR and its collaboration with the European institutions. It also allowed for the sharing of news from member organizations and information on the situation of colleagues in different countries. The financial report and the 2016 budget were presented by the Treasurer Catherine OBERZUSSER and adopted by the members.
The collaboration with the Council of Europe including the CEPEJ was traced, including the Evaluation Report on European Judicial Systems 2014 which includes a chapter on court staff, bringing a photograph of the Clerk and of Rechtspfleger professions in Europe and of their stability despite the shrinking budgets of justice in many countries.
The President reported on the interview with the Office of the Commissioner for Justice of the European Union in February 2015 and highlighted the participation of EUR in the training project on European law for court staff. A conference on this topic will take place in Brussels on 29-30 October 2015 at which the EUR is invited.
Mr Mathieu CHARDON, general secretary, who sent his greetings to participants, represented the International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ) with which the EUR has excellent relations.
A point was made about the project of the EUR to present a White Paper on the profession of Registrar / Rechtspfleger of the future. After two meetings, the ad hoc working group will enter a drafting phase. This White Paper will include an introduction to track the EUR’s approach to the White Paper since the debates on the Green Paper for a European Clerk / Rechtspfleger, an inventory of the profession in member countries, a model status for the profession and recommended future missions, the necessary training and conclusions on the positive impact of the transfer of tasks to the profession.
This White Paper could be the subject of a presentation at the next congress of the EUR in 2016 to be held in Málaga (Spain).
At the end of the session, the participants were received by the city of Dijon and had a guided tour of the city. On Saturday, 5 September 2015 they took the route of the great wines of Burgundy and could enjoy the specialties of Burgundy. The visit of the Hotel-Dieu of Beaune allowed them to discover the rich cultural heritage of this region.
Dinner and dancing at Pavillon Bacchus allowed closing in a good mood this general assembly rich in work, debates and usability. The EUR thanked the French delegation of UNSA-SJ, the organizer, without which this event would not have been so perfect.